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Firm to make ethanol from waste in Malta

Ethanol is to be produced from waste in Malta in a €435 million investment by a British firm, Bloomberg news service reported yesterday.

GeneSyst UK Ltd., part of Hudson, Ohio-based Genesyst Inc., is planning to invest in three waste-to-ethanol plants on the island, attracted by its strategic location and human resources.

The first plant will employ 140 people from Malta. It will produce 90 million litres of ethanol from around 260,000 tonnes of non-food based biomass including sea-weed “washed up on Malta’s pristine bathing beaches”.

The ethanol can be blended with gasoline and used as transport fuel, Peter Hurrell, director at GeneSyst in England, was quoted as saying.

Design and construction of the first facility should start in the second half of this year and it is expected to start operating in 2013 to 2014.

GeneSyst’s second plant will be about twice the size of the first and should start working by 2014-2015.

The final project will be a “different format” to the previous two, said Mr Hurrell. It may be co-located in Gozo and Malta.

“Malta was chosen by GeneSyst UK because it is strategically located for the wider development of the company in the general locale of the Mediterranean and beyond,” he told Bloomberg.

“Importantly, Malta has an excellent source of engineering technicians and apprentices with the skills needed to support the operations and maintenance needs of the first Malta biomass-to-ethanol facility.”

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